Electricity price shock, Putin at the gas tap, nuclear power fie, that can’t go well in the long run! Frank Plasberg asks in “Hart aber fair”: “Warm and bright at home: Who can still afford these energy prices?”
► Jürgen Trittin (67, Greens). The ex-environment minister boasted in 2004: “Promoting renewable energies will only cost an average household around 1 euro a month – as much as a scoop of ice cream.”
► Tilman Kuban (34, CDU). The head of the Junge Union was for Friedrich Merz as party leader from the start, now he is happy.
► Kerstin Andreae (53). The boss of the energy economists (BDEW) complains about “dubious electricity providers”.
► Christina Wallraf (37). The consumer advocate advises electricity customers who are left behind by their suppliers to claim damages and also shows how it works.
► Wolfram Weimer (57). The publicist (“The European”) sees the Greens as having “need to explain” about the EU’s nuclear policy.
► Harold Lesch (61). The ZDF science journalist (“Terra X”) warns: “Climate goals can only be achieved by doing without!”
Engaged guests! How energetic are you? The Zoff-o-Meter is prepared for voltage peaks, switching errors and short circuits.
Most Legitimate Complaint
A scandal to start with: low-cost electricity providers are throwing out masses of gullible customers, preferring to sell their electricity elsewhere at top prices.
“Unfair business practices!” complains energy official Andreae. “Illegal!”, Trittin assists, “but that doesn’t help the customers.”
Most transparent attack
Then follows a typical Trittin circular: “A CDU Minister of Economics named Peter Altmaier” has “managed to distribute the costs from the EEG surcharge to private households,” the aging Green Star railed, “while large traders such as Slaughterhouses in Lower Saxony…” He doesn’t have to say more.
Most insane requirement
Then Lesch comes up with a tough statement: “We didn’t understand how expensive electrical energy really is. We made it a mere commodity that has a price but no value,” he rumbles. By “we” he means the consumers.
His diagnosis: “It has come to the point that we have energetic obesity. We are energetically fat.”
Most realistic forecast
“Mr. Lesch does not have to be re-elected,” Plasberg scoffs. JU boss Kuban does not have this advantage.
The young unionist recalls that “before the election, all parties said: ‘We will ensure that renewable energies are ready for the market without you having to pay much more.’ I demand this now!”
Most drastic description of the situation
“We pay 34 cents per kilowatt hour, the French 21, the Americans 15, the Chinese 10,” calculates Weimer. “The Federal Statistical Office reports: Two million Germans are freezing because energy prices are so high!”
And then the economy! “Entrepreneurs are raising the alarm in many sectors,” warns the publicist. “Glassworks steeped in tradition have survived world wars, but they say: We will not survive these energy prices. Cement, insulation materials, metals, steel industry! Green inflation is hurting a lot of people!”
Most useful tip
“We have a sample letter on our website at Verbraucherzentrale.nrw/Belieferungsstellung,” reports Wallraf. Those affected should defend themselves in any case, because “sometimes four-digit amounts are involved”.
The most important thing, according to the consumer advocate: “Cancel standing orders. revoke direct debits. Read the meter reading and inform the network operator and the new provider. Demand compensation!”
“If we continue to keep the price of electricity so high, industrial cores will be taken from us, especially by the Chinese,” fears Weimer. They are playing hardball with the electricity price.” On the list of the world’s largest steel producers, “there are no longer any Germans, but eight Chinese!”
His concern: “We won’t gain anything if production is dirty in China. It cannot be that climate change policy is dear to us, but above all expensive!”
Most acclaimed laughter
“We’re getting out of oil, gas, nuclear power and coal, and we’re doing it faster and faster,” lists Weimar. “When you rule out that much, what the Wall Street Journal described as ‘The Germans are making the dumbest energy policy in the world’ happens.”
In reaction to the quote, the ZDF science journalist, who is on from Mainz, looks at the ceiling on his monitor as if seeking help, shakes his head and then giggles mockingly to himself. “Mr. Lesch laughs,” reports Plasberg, slightly irritated. “I always like cheerfulness. Mr Trittin smiles too!”
Appropriately, the talk show host plays the Trittin quote from 2004. Original sound: “Today, a household pays 11.80 euros a month for the energy transition.”
Trittin wants to get the damn ice cream ball off the table somehow: “I misjudged certain parts,” he admits out of necessity. But: “That was in 2004. From 2005 other ministers were responsible for it.” Laughter in the studio!
Most eager personnel discussion
In his distress, the old ice cream seller then even hits an ex-colleague in the pan: “I can calculate point by point for which part the ministers Gabriel, Altmaier…”
“Gabriel is not with us,” the JU boss reminds him.
“He’s in the SPD,” confirms Trittin, annoyed, “and he’s not welcome there!”
Most devastating bill
“We pay around 75 billion a year in energy-related eco-taxes,” the publicist states. “At the gas station, on the electricity bill, on heating costs. 200 million every day. When Robert Habeck and Christian Lindner meet for a beer in the evening: Well, today we took 200 million eco-taxes off the Germans again!”
Weimer’s verdict: “It’s not going well. There is pressure in the country. The companies are migrating!”
Most energetic offensive
Trittin wants to counter that “due to the development in Germany, the large quantities, we were able to reduce the prices for renewable energies by 90 to 95 percent.” who has benefited the whole world.” Hosanna!
The fact that “renewable energy is cheaper worldwide than fossil or nuclear energy,” adds the ex-minister, “has to do with what we have initiated in Germany with the energy transition.”
Most interesting reactions
“Thank you for this mini-presentation, which puts things in perspective again – from your point of view…” Plasberg commented with an impassive expression.
“This is a real triumph of renewables,” assists energy official Andreae. The fact that she was the deputy parliamentary group member of the Greens in the Bundestag for six years has not been mentioned.
The next clip shows how the Greens campaigned with “climate money”. And now? “Mr. Habeck didn’t mention it at all in his big press conference,” Plasberg is surprised.
Trittin puts on a superior smile: “As a first step, we will lower the EEG levy,” he explains.
Label fraud! “The grand coalition did that,” Kuban interjected. “It has nothing to do with climate change,” adds Plasberg.
Then the Zoff-o-Meter flashes.
“The grand coalition did that,” repeated the JU boss angrily. “To boast about things that were already done and that were already planned is kind of a bit low now!”
“The grand coalition hasn’t decided anything!” replies Trittin grimly. “The grand coalition is no longer in office and we are now doing what you announced. It’s that simple.” Heidewitzka, Captain!
Most embarrassing mistake
Plasberg continues to annoy: Did Habeck simply forget the climate money?
The pointed question throws Trittin off balance: “First I wanted to say what we actually do,” he replies impatiently. “This is the increase in the heating cost subsidy, which is extremely important for the 2,000 households that Mr. Weimer named at the point…”
I’m sorry, what? “Two million,” corrects the publicist. What’s going on here?
“Two million,” says Kuban.
“Two million!” Trittin finally admits and takes revenge with a diversionary maneuver: “I know that you always get nervous when you are given facts, Mr. Kuban!” The heating cost subsidy helps people, “and I think you shouldn’t mess that up!”
“Is asking for the climate money ‘talking about it’?” teases the talk show host. “Just answer that!”
Trittin’s defiant reply: “It will be difficult if you keep interrupting me, Mr. Plasberg.” Uff!
At the very end things really get political: “The pipeline through Ukraine has a capacity of 150 (billion cubic meters)”, states Trittin. “It is currently only a third filled with 40 billion. Nord Stream 2 has 50 billion.”
According to the ex-minister, Putin needs energy exports in order to be on an equal footing with the United States. “We are not dependent on Nord Stream 2 to meet our gas needs.” Period!
quote of the evening
“The word ‘no alternative’ went into retirement with the chancellor.” Frank Plasberg
Angry plain texts, stressful arguments, treacherous slips of the tongue, wordy rages: That was a talk show in the “full wash” category.